Merchandise exports growth accelerated to 1.2% month-on-month in March, from 1.0% in February. Imports, meanwhile, jumped 6.5% over the prior month in March, up from 3.6% in February, suggesting that domestic demand continued to gain traction in the latter stages of the first quarter. The calendar- and seasonally-adjusted trade surplus, moreover, narrowed to EUR 14.3 billion from EUR 18.9 billion in February.
On an annual basis, merchandise exports rose 16.1% in March, contrasting the 1.2% contraction in the prior month. Imports, furthermore, increased 15.5% in March, up from February’s 0.9% increase. It should be noted, however, that the annual figures were partly flattered by a favorable base effects, as exports and imports plummeted in the same moth a year prior due to the onset of the pandemic.